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380 Words Essay on Corruption in India (free to read)

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Anti Corruption

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Corruption is found in the government when instead of thinking about the interests of the citizens as a whole, the members of the government are chiefly interested in promoting their own selfish interests. Corruption is found in both public and private organizations and everyone starting from the clerk to the Managing Director of a company is corrupt in a way or the other. The clerk takes small bribes from the people who visit the office so that their work is finished early than the others who are waiting in a queue. In India, bribes are also accepted in a few temples where devotees offering bribes are given priority over others to visit the temple. Parents offer bribes in schools and colleges to get their child admitted. There is no institution, no organization which is not corrupt in a way or the other.

But the question that arises is that can an anti-corruption movement be started and if yes, shall it be successful. The answer depends largely on the adaptation of anti-corruption measures by both the government and the citizens. It is essential for all the Indians to stop taking bribe and also to stop offering bribe in any form. This is the foundation on which the success of any anti- corruption measure will depend. A recent example of anti- corruption measure has been adopted by Mr. Anna Hazare against the existing system of government. He was of the opinion that the Lokpal Bill should be passed in both the houses of the Parliament as a result of which all the ministers and the members of the Parliament would become answerable before the law.

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The movement also supported by Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and was successful initially because it instilled among the citizens the awareness of the necessity to pass the Lokpal bill but this movement proved to be unsuccessful in the later stages when the Lokpal bill failed to pass. Corruption is an incurable disease which all the citizens should try to combat by hook or by crook. It is only because of the corrupt politicians that today India is burdened with enormous loans from the developed countries especially America. It has been estimated that if the money deposited In the Swiss Bank of Switzerland by the Indian politicians return to India, not only will India be free from all the loans but the rising prices of different commodities would immediately shoot down.

People should be allowed to re- elect the candidate they voted for if he fails to fulfill the promises that he made while contesting the elections. People are of the opinion that corruption is a way of life and nothing can be done to eradicate it. It is essential to understand that unless we as the citizens are not determined to do away with corruption from the roots, how we can expect the government to be corruption- free. Corruption is not a new phenomenon in India. It has been prevalent in society since ancient times. History reveals that it was present even in the Mauryan period. Great scholar Kautilya mentions the pressure of forty types of corruption in his contemporary society. It was practised even in Mughal and Sultanate period.

When the East India Company took control of the country, corruption reached new height. Corruption in India has become so common that people now are averse to thinking of public life with it. Corruption has been defined variously by scholars. But the simple meaning of it is that corruption implies perversion of morality, integrity, character or duty out of mercenary motives, i.e. bribery, without any regard to honour, right and justice. In other words, undue favour for any one for some monetary or other gains is corruption. Simultaneously, depriving the genuinely deserving from their right or privilege is also a corrupt practice. Shrinking from one’s duty or dereliction of duty are also forms of corruption. Besides, thefts, wastage of public property constitute varieties of corruption. Dishonesty, exploitation, malpractices, scams and scandals are various manifestations of corruption. Corruption is not a uniquely Indian phenomenon. It is witnessed all over the world in developing as well as developed countries. It has spread its tentacles in every sphere of life, namely business administration, politics, officialdom, and services. In fact, there is hardly any sector which can be characterised for not being infected with the vices of corruption. Corruption is rampant in every segment and every section of society, barring the social status attached to it.

Nobody can be considered free from corruption from a high ranking officer. To root out the evil of corruption from society, we need to make a comprehensive code of conduct for politicians, legislatures, bureaucrats, and such code should be strictly enforced. Judiciary should be given more independence and initiatives on issues related to corruption. Special courts should be set-up to take up such issues and speedy trial is to be promoted. Law and order machinery should be allowed to work without political interference. NGOs and  media should come forward to create awareness against corruption in society and educate people to combat this evil. Only then we would be able to save
our system from being collapsed

Now-a-days corruption can be seen everywhere. It is like cancer in public life, which has not become so rampant and perpetuated overnight, but in course of time. A country where leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Lai Bahadur Shastri and Kamraj have taken birth and led a value-based is now facing the problem of corruption. When we talk of corruption in public life, it covers corruption in politics, state governments, central governments, “business, industry and so on. Public dealing counters in most all government offices are the places where corruption most evident. If anybody does not pay for the work it is sure work won’t be done. People have grown insatiable appetite for money in them and they can go to any extent to get money.

Undoubtedly they talk of morality and the importance of value-based life but that is for outer show. Their inner voice is something else. It is always crying for money. It has been seen the officers who are deputed to look into the matters of corruption turn out to be corrupt. Our leaders too are not less corrupt. Thus the network of corruption goes on as usual and remains undeterred. Corruption is seen even in the recruitment department where appointments are ensured through reliable middle agencies. Nexus between politicians and bureaucrats works in a very sophisticated manner. Nexus does also exist between criminals and police. Everybody knows that criminals have no morals, hence nothing good can we expect from them. But police are supposed to be the symbol of law and order and discipline. Even they are indulged in corruption.

This is more so because they enjoy unlimited powers and there is no action against them even on complaints and sufficient proof of abuse of office atrocities and high handedness. Corruption can be need-based or greed-based. Better governance can at least help to check need-based corruption. Better governance can check greed based corruption also because punishment for the corrupt will be very effective and prompt in a better-governed country. The steps should be taken to correct the situation overall. Declarations of property and assets of the government employees are made compulsory and routine and surprise inspections and raids be conducted at certain intervals. Though it seerris very difficult to control corruption but it is not impossible. It is not only the responsibility of the government but ours too. We can eliminate corruption if there will be joint effort. We must have some high principles to follow so that we may be models for the coming generation. Let us take a view to create an atmosphere free from corruption. That will be our highest achievement as human beings.


â € œPower tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts € absolutely.â

It is not easy to define corruption. But in a narrow sense, corruption is primarily concerned with â € ~ € ™ bribery and takes several forms. Corruption is a global phenomenon and is omnipresent. Corruption has risen steadily and is now rampant in our society.

National Stage

Corruption in India is a consequence of the nexus between bureaucracy, politics and criminals. India is no longer considered a soft state. Now it has become a state of mind where everything can be had for a test. Today, the number of ministers with an honest image can be counted on the fingers. At one time, bribe was paid to do things wrong, but now they pay bribes to get things done well at the right time.

Effects of corruption

india administration is tainted with scandals. India is among 55 of the 106 countries where corruption is rampant, according to the Index of Perceived Corruption Report 2004, published by Transparency International India. Corruption in India leads to promotion not prison. It is very difficult to catch big sharks â € ~ € ™. Corruption in India has no wings wheels. As a nation grows, so do the corrupt to invent new methods of cheating the government and the public.

The causes of corruption

The causes of corruption are many and complex. The following are some of the causes of corruption.

 • Appearance of the political elite who believe in programs to interest rather than nation-oriented policies.

 • artificial shortages created by the people with malevolent intent destroys the fabric of the economy.

 • Corruption is caused as well as the increase due to the change in value system and ethical qualities of men who administer. The old ideals of morality, service and honesty are considered a achronistic.

 • The tolerance of people towards corruption, the complete lack of intense public outcry against corruption and the absence of strong public forum to oppose corruption allow corruption to reign over people.

 • The size of most of the population, coupled with widespread illiteracy and poor economic infrastructure tip of the endemic corruption in public life.

 • In a highly inflationary economy, low salaries of government officials are forced to resort to the path of corruption. IIM graduates with no experience in a very attractive salary than what government secretaries draw.

 • complex laws and procedures alienate common people to ask any government assistance.

 • The timing of elections is a time when corruption is at its peak. Great political fund employer to comply with the high cost of the election and ultimately seek personal favor. Bribery to politicians buys influence, and bribery of politicians buying votes. To be elected, politicians bribe poor illiterate people, who are slogging for two times meals € ™.

Measures to combat corruption

Is it possible to contain corruption in our society? Corruption is a cancer, that all Indians should strive to cure. Many new leaders when in power declare their determination to eradicate corruption but soon become corrupt and begin to accumulate huge wealth.

There are many myths about corruption, which must be exploited, if we really want to fight. Some of these myths are: Corruption is a way of life and nothing can be done. Only people from underdeveloped or developing countries are prone to corruption. You have to avoid all these crude fallacies while planning measures to combat corruption.

 • Laws should be foolproof so that no discretion to politicians and bureaucrats. The role of the politician should be minimized. The implementation of the policies developed should be left to the independent commission or authority in every area of public interest. Decision of the commission or authority should be challenged only in court.

 • The cooperation of the people must be obtained to successfully contain corruption. People should have the right to recall elected officials if they see that they become indifferent to the electorate.

 • The financing of elections is at the center of political corruption. Electoral reforms are crucial in this regard. Several reforms such as state funding of election expenses of candidates, strict compliance with legal requirements such as elections in part as political parties have their accounts audited regularly and filing tax income, denying persons with criminal records the opportunity to participate in elections should be presented

 • Responsiveness, accountability and transparency are a must for a clean system. Bureaucracy, the backbone of good governance, should be more citizen friendly, responsible, ethical and transparent.

• Once again the courts should be open to the prompt and inexpensive justice so that cases donâ € ™ t stay in the courts for years and justice is delivered on time.

 • The local bodies independent of government, as Lokpals, Lokadalats, CVC and the vigilance committees should be formed to provide speedy justice with low expenses.

 • A new fundamental right to know. Right to Information should be made, which entitles citizens to seek the information they want. Barring some confidential information that relates to national and international security, another type of information should be available to the general public when necessary. strict measures against corrupt officials will undoubtedly have a deterrent effect.


Corruption is an intractable problem. It’s like diabetes, can only be controlled but not completely eliminated. It may not be possible to completely eradicate corruption at all levels, but may contain within tolerable limits. Honest and dedicated persons in public life, control over electoral expenses could be the most important recipe for fighting corruption. Corruption has a corrosive effect on our economy. Worsens our image in the international market and leads to lost opportunities abroad. Corruption is a global problem that all countries of the world are facing, solutions, however, can only be done at home. We tolerated corruption for so long. The time has come to eradicate its roots.

Anna Hazare’s Movement Against Corruption
A new landmark in the history of independent India, a new path paved by the veteran anti- corruption campaigner Anna Hazare. His struggle against corruption was a gentle reminder of Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha. His fast-unto death, the five day fast has shown the world what Gandhism means in today’s world. The power of Gandhiji’s non violence will never cease to exist in the ages to come. While in Libya and Yemen there is bloodshed for freedom, where people are waging war against one another during the crisis, here in India, a respected social activist Anna Hazare is waging a peaceful, non violent war against corruption. His urge to free India of the greatest evil, corruption, commends appreciation. This fight against corruption staged at Jantar Mantar was not a one- man show. People from different parts of the country gave their support to Anna Hazare. The greatest merit of this non violent struggle was that no political party was involved in it.

Anna Hazare and his supporters were not influenced by any political party. There was only one flag waving high in the sky and in our minds, the Indian National Flag. The fast ended on a very positive note when the idea of Jan Lokpal Bill was accepted by the Government of India. According to the Jan Lokpal Bill, there will be a separate body to investigate and curb the ugly face of India….CORRUPTION; where people have the right to raise their voice against corrupt politicians. Moreover the CBI will be seen as an independent body, free of any other external influence. Now that the bill is going to be sanctioned, a very important question arises…. Can all the Indians touch their heart and say with confidence that the Jan Lokpal Bill will eradicate corruption???? Maybe to an extent but I don’t think it will erase corruption completely in a vast country like India. The Jan Lokpal Bill may have loopholes like the Right to Information Act, an Act passed due to the thrust laid by Anna Hazare. According to the right to information act, the citizens of India have the right to get information on any matter concerning the country, but recently an incident occurred which clearly reflects the loopholes in it. A citizen of India lodged a complaint about the illegal wealth possessed by the former chief justice of India, K.G Balakrishnan.

Even today complete information about the wealth of this most corrupted chief justice of India is not known to the public. Why? Is it beyond the Right to Information Act? Similar loopholes are likely to be there in the Lokpal bill also. It is sure that as time passes some illegal and illogical rule will come whereby the citizens cannot use this bill against the Prime Minister, Chief justice and so on thus restricting its use. The new committee formed to frame the bill must take in the interest of all sections of the population. It should be taken care that the bill will be unbiased and does not favour any person; be it the president or prime minister. Further it should be accompanied by other reformation, yes, reformation from the grass root level. Recently when assembly elections were held in Kerala, crores of rupees were spent by each candidate of the 140 constituencies for campaigning. Where did this money come from?

If it is the contribution made by big industrialists and so on, then those candidates when elected should serve their interests. In Tamil Nadu, people are given free T.Vs and laptops. Where did this money come from? All these are different manifestations of corruption. A very effective way to end corruption is to reduce the money power in elections. Crores of rupees are deposited as black money by many influential people abroad.This unaccounted money should be brought back and if it is done, this black money alone can provide the necessary funds required for the construction of metros in all the states of India. These reformations if enforced can provide that extra impetus needed to curb corruption along with the Lokpal bill. The Lokpal bill is cent percent legitimate and it upholds the spirit of the constitution because its main aim is to create a corruption- free India.

If by any chance it is against any article of the constitution, it is better to amend the constitution rather than the bill because of its most noble cause. The 2G spectrum case, Adharsh Bhavan Colony, commonwealth games are the different issues which we have been hearing in the last few months which has made India a laughing stock in the comity of nations. Let us use the Jan Lokpal bill wisely, sealing its loopholes and see the ultimate result. Let us hope for the best.

Corruption in India has made inroads in all fields of life. Corruption is present in politics, the bureaucracy, corporate and private sectors and is the root cause for most of the problems that plague India. Since the last year, the issue has been widely debated and there has been a considerable mass mobilization against corruption by social activist Sri Anna Hazare and his team members. The Government of India established a Group of Ministers (GoM) in January 2011 to consider measures to tackle corruption. It has submitted two reports.

In pursuance of this, 1. Government has directed that requests for sanction of prosecution are to be decided upon by the competent authority within a period of three months. 2. Government decided that for all officers of the central government above the rank of Joint Secretary, the competent authority to approve initiation of enquiry/investigation under Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act will be the Minister-in-charge in the Government of India. 3. Government has also accepted the recommendation of the GoM to put in place regulatory parameters for exercise of discretionary powers by Ministers and to place them in public domain

4. A comprehensive ‘Lokpal and Lakyuktas Bill, 2011’ was passed by the Lok Sabha this year. 1. ‘The Whistle Blowers Protection Bill 2011’ intended to provide protection to whistle-blowers, was passed by the Lok Sabha and is presently with the Rajya Sabha. 2. India ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in May, 2011. The Convention has entered into force for India on 8th June 2011. With a view to ensuring full compliance with this Convention, ‘The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organizations Bill 2011’ was introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Bill is under consideration of the Government.

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Corruption in India

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Political corruption
  • Bribery
  • Cronyism
  • Kleptocracy
  • Economics of corruption
  • Electoral fraud
  • Legal plunder
  • Nepotism
  • Slush fund
  • Political scandal
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Corruption is an issue that adversely affects India ‘s economy of central, state and local government agencies. Not only has it held the economy back from reaching new heights, but rampant corruption has stunted the country’s development. [1] A study conducted by Transparency International in 2005 recorded that more than 92% of Indians had at some point or another paid a bribe to a public official to get a job done. [2] [3]
In a study conducted in 2008, Transparency International reported that about 50% of Indians had first hand experience of paying bribes or using contacts to get services performed by public offices. [4]

Transparency International ‘s 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranks the country 81st place out of 180 countries. [5]

The largest contributors to corruption are entitlement programs and social spending schemes enacted by the Indian government. Examples include the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the National Rural Health Mission . [6] [7] Other areas of corruption include India’s trucking industry which is forced to pay billions of rupees in bribes annually to numerous regulatory and police stops on interstate highways. [8]

The media has widely published allegations of corrupt Indian citizens stashing millions of rupees in Swiss banks . Swiss authorities denied these allegations, which were later proven in 2015–2016. The Indian media is largely controlled by extremely corrupt politicians and industrialists who play a major role by misleading the public with incorrect information and use the media for mud-slinging at political and business opponents. [9] [10]

The causes of corruption in India include excessive regulations, complicated tax and licensing systems, numerous government departments with opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers, monopoly of government controlled institutions on certain goods and services delivery, and the lack of transparent laws and processes. [11] [12] There are significant variations in the level of corruption and in the government’s efforts to reduce corruption across different areas of India.


  • 1 Politics
  • 2 Bureaucracy
    • 2.1 Land and property
    • 2.2 Tendering processes and awarding contracts
    • 2.3 Hospitals and health care
    • 2.4 Science and technology
    • 2.5 Income tax department
    • 2.6 Preferential award of mineral resources
    • 2.7 Driver licensing
    • 2.8 Trends
  • 3 Black money
    • 3.1 Indian black money in Switzerland
    • 3.2 Domestic black money
      • 3.2.1 2016 Evasion attempts after note ban
  • 4 Business and corruption
  • 5 Judiciary
  • 6 Anti-corruption efforts
    • 6.1 Right to Information Act
    • 6.2 Right to public services legislation
    • 6.3 Anti-corruption laws in India
    • 6.4 Anti-corruption police and courts
    • 6.5 Civic anti-corruption organisations
    • 6.6 Electoral Reforms
  • 7 Factors contributing to corruption in India
  • 8 Impact of corruption
    • 8.1 Loss of credibility
    • 8.2 Economic loss
    • 8.3 Lower corruption, higher growth rates
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 Further reading
  • 12 External links

Politics[ edit ]

See also: Booth capturing

Sole philosophy pages on all norms and guidelines to clear mess, but now placed below plates

Corruption in India is a problem that has serious implications for protecting the rule of law and ensuring access to justice. As of December 2009 [update] , 120 of India’s 524 parliament members were accused of various crimes, under India’s First Information Report procedure wherein anyone can allege another to have committed a crime. [13]

Many of the biggest scandals since 2010 [update] have involved high level government officials, including Cabinet Ministers and Chief Ministers, such as the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam (70,000 crore (US$9.7 billion)), the Adarsh Housing Society scam , the Coal Mining Scam (1.86 lakh crore (US$26 billion)), the Mining Scandal in Karnataka and the Cash for Vote scams .

Bureaucracy[ edit ]

A 2005 study done by the Transparency International in India found that more than 92% of the people had firsthand experience of paying bribes or peddling influence to get services performed in a public office. [3] Taxes and bribes are common between state borders; Transparency International estimates that truckers annually pay 222 crore (US$31 million) in bribes. [8] [14]

Both government regulators and police share in bribe money, to the tune of 43% and 45% each, respectively. The en route stoppages at checkpoints and entry-points can take up to 11 hours per day. About 60% of these (forced) stoppages on roads by concerned authorities such as government regulators, police, forest, sales and excise, octroi, and weighing and measuring departments are for extorting money. The loss in productivity due to these stoppages is an important national concern; the number of truck trips could increase by 40%, if forced delays are avoided. According to a 2007 World Bank published report, the travel time for a Delhi-Mumbai trip could be reduced by about 2 days per trip if the corruption and associated regulatory stoppages to extract bribes were eliminated. [14] [15] [16]

A 2009 survey of the leading economies of Asia, revealed Indian bureaucracy to be not only the least efficient out of Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Philippines and Indonesia, but that working with India’s civil servants was a “slow and painful” process. [17]

Land and property[ edit ]

See also: Illegal housing in India

Officials are alleged to steal state property. In cities and villages throughout India, groups of municipal and other government officials, elected politicians, judicial officers, real estate developers and law enforcement officials, acquire, develop and sell land in illegal ways. [18] Such officials and politicians are very well protected by the immense power and influence they possess. Apart from this, slum-dwellers who are allotted houses under several housing schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana, Rajiv Awas Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna etc., rent out these houses to others, to earn money due to severe unemployment and lack of a steady source of income.

Tendering processes and awarding contracts[ edit ]

A 2006 report claimed state-funded construction activities in Uttar Pradesh , such as road building were dominated by construction mafias, consisting of cabals of corrupt public works officials, materials suppliers, politicians and construction contractors. [19]

Problems caused by corruption in government funded projects are not limited to the state of Uttar Pradesh. According to The World Bank, aid programmes are beset by corruption, bad administration and under-payments. As an example, the report cites that only 40% of grain handed out for the poor reaches its intended target. The World Bank study finds that the public distribution programmes and social spending contracts have proven to be a waste due to corruption. [20]

For example, the government implemented the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on 25 August 2005. The Central government outlay for this welfare scheme is 400 crore (US$56 million) in FY 2010–2011. [21] After 5 years of implementation, in 2011, the programme was widely criticised as no more effective than other poverty reduction programmes in India. Despite its best intentions, MGNREGA faces the challenges of corrupt officials reportedly pocketing money on behalf of fake rural employees, poor quality of the programme infrastructure, and unintended destructive effect[ clarification needed ] on poverty. [7] [22]

Hospitals and health care[ edit ]

In Government Hospitals, corruption is associated with non-availability/duplication of medicines, obtaining admission, consultations with doctors and receiving diagnostic services. [3]

National Rural Health Mission is another health care-related government programme that has been subject to large scale corruption allegations. This social spending and entitlement programme hoped to improve health care delivery across rural India. Managed since 2005 by the Ministry of Health , the Indian government mandated a spending of 2.77 lakh crore (US$39 billion) in 2004–2005, and increased it annually to be about 1% of India’s gross domestic product. The National Rural Health Mission programme has been clouded by a large-scale corruption scandal in which high-level government appointed officials were arrested, several of whom died under mysterious circumstances including one in prison. Corruption, waste and fraud-related losses from this government programme has been alleged to be 1 lakh crore (US$14 billion). [23] [24] [25] [6]

Science and technology[ edit ]

CSIR, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research , has been flagged in ongoing efforts to root out corruption in India. [26] Established with the directive to do translational research and create real technologies, CSIR has been accused of transforming into a ritualistic, overly-bureaucratic organisation that does little more than churn out papers. [27] [28]

There are many issues facing Indian scientists, with some, such as MIT systems scientist VA Shiva Ayyadurai , calling for transparency, a meritocratic system, and an overhaul of the bureaucratic agencies that oversee science and technology. [29] [30] [31] Sumit Bhaduri stated, “The challenges of turning Indian science into part of an innovation process are many. Many competent Indian scientists aspire to be ineffectual administrators (due to administrative power and political patronage), rather than do the kind of science that makes a difference”. [32] Prime minister Manmohan Singh spoke at the 99th Indian Science Congress and commented on the state of the sciences in India, after an advisory council informed him there were problems with “the overall environment for innovation and creative work” and a “war-like” approach was needed. [33]

Income tax department[ edit ]

There have been several cases of collusion involving officials of the Income Tax Department of India for preferential tax treatment and relaxed prosecutions in exchange for bribes. [34] [35]

Preferential award of mineral resources[ edit ]

See also: Illegal mining in India

In August 2011, an iron ore mining scandal became a media focus in India. In September 2011, elected member of Karnataka’s legislative assembly Janardhana Reddy, was arrested on charges of corruption and illegal mining of iron ore in his home state. It was alleged that his company received preferential allotment of resources, organised and exported billions of dollars’ worth of iron ore to Chinese companies in recent years without paying any royalty to the state government exchequer of Karnataka or the central government of India, and that these Chinese companies made payment to shell companies registered in Caribbean and north Atlantic tax havens controlled by Reddy. [36] [37]

It was also alleged that corrupt government officials cooperated with Reddy, starting from government officials in charge of regulating mining to government officials in charge of regulating port facilities and shipping. These officials received monthly bribes in exchange for enabling the illegal export of illegally mined iron ore to China. Such scandals have led to a demand in India for consensually driven action plan to eradicate the piracy of India’s mineral resources by an illegal, politically corrupt government officials-business nexus, removal of incentives for illegal mining, and the creation of incentives for legal mining and domestic use of iron ore and steel manufacturing. [36] [37]

Driver licensing[ edit ]

A study conducted between 2004 and 2005 found that India’s driver licensing procedure was a hugely distorted bureaucratic process and allows drivers to be licensed despite their low driving ability through promoting the usage of agents. Individuals with the willingness to pay make a significant payment above the official fee and most of these extra payments are made to agents, who act as an intermediary between bureaucrats and applicants. [38]

The average licensee paid Rs 1,080, approximately 2.5 times the official fee of Rs 450, in order to obtain a license. On average, those who hired agents had a lower driving ability, with agents helping unqualified drivers obtain licenses and bypass the legally required driving examination. Among the surveyed individuals, approximately 60% of the license holders did not even take the licensing exam and 54% of those license holders failed an independent driving test. [39]

Agents are the channels of corruption in this bureaucratic driver licensing system, facilitating access to licenses among those who are unqualified to drive. Some of the failures of this licensing system are caused by corrupt bureaucrats who collaborate with agents by creating additional barriers within the system against those who did not hire agents. [38]

Trends[ edit ]

Professor Bibek Debroy and Laveesh Bhandari claim in their book Corruption in India: The DNA and RNA that public officials in India may be cornering as much as 921 billion (US$13 billion), or 1.26 per cent of the GDP through corruption. [15] The book claims most bribery is in government delivered services and the transport and real estate industries.

Bribery and corruption are pervasive, but some areas tend to more issues than others. A 2013 EY (Ernst & Young) Study [40] reports the industries perceived to be the most vulnerable to corruption as: Infrastructure & Real Estate, Metals & Mining, Aerospace & Defense, and Power & Utilities. There are a range of specific factors that make a sector more susceptible to bribery and corruption risks than others. High use of middlemen, large value contracts, and liasioning activities etc. drive the depth, volume and frequency of corrupt practices in vulnerable sectors.

A 2011 KPMG study reports India’s real estate, telecommunications and government-run social development projects as the three top sectors plagued by corruption. The study found India’s defence, the information technology industry and energy sectors to be the most competitive and least corruption prone sectors. [11]

CMS India claims in its 2010 India Corruption Study report that socio-economically weaker sections of Indian society are the most adversely affected by government corruption. These include the rural and urban poor, although the study claims that nationwide perception of corruption has decreased between 2005 and 2010. Over the 5-year period, a significantly greater number of people surveyed from the middle and poorest classes in all parts of India claimed government corruption had dropped over time, and that they had fewer direct experiences with bribery demands. [41] Whereas in reality corruption has increased ten folds since 2010 and continues to grow relentlessly on a daily basis.

The table below compares the perceived anti-corruption effort across some of the major states in India. [12] A rising index implies higher anti-corruption effort and falling corruption. According to this table, the states of Bihar and Gujarat have experienced significant improvements in their anti-corruption efforts, while conditions have worsened in the states of Assam and West Bengal . Consistent with the results in this table, in 2012 a BBC News report claimed the state of Bihar has transformed in recent years to become the least corrupt state in India. [42]

Index trends in major states by respective anti-corruption effort [12]
Bihar 0.410.300.430.88
Gujarat 0.480.570.640.69
Andhra Pradesh 0.530.730.550.61
Punjab 0.320.460.460.60
Jammu & Kashmir 0.130.320.170.40
Haryana 0.330.600.310.37
Himachal Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Madhya Pradesh
Maharashtra 0.450.290.270.26
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal

Black money[ edit ]

Main article: Indian black money

Black money refers to money that is not fully or legitimately the property of the ‘owner’. A government white paper on black money in India suggests two possible sources of black money in India; [9] the first includes activities not permitted by the law, such as crime, drug trade, terrorism and corruption, all of which are illegal in India and secondly, wealth that may have been generated through lawful activity but accumulated by failure to declare income and pay taxes. Some of this black money ends up in illicit financial flows across international borders, such as deposits in tax haven countries.

A November 2010 report from the Washington -based Global Financial Integrity estimates that over a 60-year period, India lost US$213 billion in illicit financial flows beginning in 1948; adjusted for inflation, this is estimated to be $462 billion in 2010, or about $8 billion per year ($7 per capita per year). The report also estimated the size of India’s underground economy at approximately US$640 billion at the end of 2008 or roughly 50% of the nation’s GDP. [43]

Indian black money in Switzerland[ edit ]

India was ranked 38th by money held by its citizens in Swiss banks in 2004 but then improved its ranking by slipping to 61st position in 2015 and further improved its position by slipping to 75th position in 2016. [44] [45]
According to a 2010 The Hindu article, unofficial estimates indicate that Indians had over US$1,456 billion in black money stored in Swiss banks (approximately US$1.4 trillion). [46] While some news reports claimed that data provided by the Swiss Banking Association [47] Report (2006) showed India has more black money than the rest of the world combined, [48] [49] a more recent report quoted the SBA’s Head of International Communications as saying that no such official Swiss Banking Association statistics exist. [50]

Another report said that Indian-owned Swiss bank account assets are worth 13 times the country’s national debt. These allegations have been denied by Swiss Bankers Association . James Nason of Swiss Bankers Association in an interview about alleged black money from India, holds that “The (black money) figures were rapidly picked up in the Indian media and in Indian opposition circles, and circulated as gospel truth. However, this story was a complete fabrication. The Swiss Bankers Association never published such a report. Anyone claiming to have such figures (for India) should be forced to identify their source and explain the methodology used to produce them.” [10] [51]

In a separate study, Dev Kar of Global Financial Integrity concludes, “Media reports circulating in India that Indian nationals held around US$1.4 trillion in illicit external assets are widely off the mark compared to the estimates found by his study.” Kar claims the amounts are significantly smaller, only about 1.5% of India’s GDP on average per annum basis, between 1948 and 2008. This includes corruption, bribery and kickbacks, criminal activities, trade mispricing and efforts to shelter wealth by Indians from India’s tax authorities. [43]

According to a third report, published in May 2012, Swiss National Bank estimates that the total amount of deposits in all Swiss banks, at the end of 2010, by citizens of India were CHF 1.95 billion (92.95 billion (US$1.3 billion)). The Swiss Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed these figures upon request for information by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. This amount is about 700-fold less than the alleged $1.4 trillion in some media reports. [9] The report also provided a comparison of the deposits held by Indians and by citizens of other nations in Swiss banks. Total deposits held by citizens of India constitute only 0.13 per cent of the total bank deposits of citizens of all countries. Further, the share of Indians in the total bank deposits of citizens of all countries in Swiss banks has reduced from 0.29 per cent in 2006 to 0.13 per cent in 2010.

Domestic black money[ edit ]

Indian companies are reportedly misusing public trusts for money laundering. India has no centralised repository—like the registrar of companies for corporates—of information on public trusts. [52]

2016 Evasion attempts after note ban[ edit ]

A jewellery store in a shopping mall with a notice “We accept ₹500 and ₹1000 notes”, even after they were no longer valid banknotes.

  • Gold purchases

In Gujarat , Delhi and many other major cities, sales of gold increased on 9 November, with an increased 20% to 30% premium surging the price as much as 45,000 (US$630) from the ruling price of 31,900 (US$440) per 10 grams (0.35 oz). [53] [54]

  • Donations

Authorities of Sri Jalakanteswarar temple at Vellore discovered cash worth 4.4 million (US$61,000) from the temple Hundi. [55]

  • Multiple bank transactions

There have also been reports of people circumventing the restrictions imposed on exchange transactions and attempting to convert black money into white by making multiple transactions at different bank branches. [56] People were also getting rid of large amounts of banned currency by sending people in groups to exchange their money at banks. [57] In response, the government announced that it would start marking customers with indelible ink. This was in addition to other measures proposed to ensure that the exchange transactions are carried out only once by each person. [58] [59] [60] On 17 November, the government reduced the exchange amount to 2,000 (US$28) to discourage attempts to convert black money into legitimate money.

  • Railway bookings

As soon as the demonetisation was announced, it was observed by the Indian Railways authorities that a large number of people started booking tickets particularly in classes 1A and 2A for the longest distance possible, to get rid of unaccounted for cash. A senior official said, “On November 13, 42.7 million passengers were nationally booked across all classes. Of these, only 1,209 were 1A and 16,999 for 2A. It is a sharp dip from the number of passengers booked on November 9, when 27,237 passengers had booked tickets in 1A and 69,950 in 2A.” [61]

The Railways Ministry and the Railway Board responded swiftly and decided that cancellation and refund of tickets of value ₹10,000 and above will not be allowed by any means involving cash. The payment can only be through cheque/electronic payment. Tickets above ₹10,000 can be refunded by filing ticket deposit receipt only on surrendering the original ticket. A copy of the PAN card must be submitted for any cash transaction above ₹50,000. The railway claimed that since the Railway Board on 10 November imposed a number of restrictions to book and cancel tickets, the number of people booking 1A and 2A tickets came down. [61] [62]

  • Municipal and local tax payments

As the use of the demonetised notes had been allowed by the government for the payment of municipal and local body taxes, leading to people using the demonetised ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes to pay large amounts of outstanding and advance taxes. As a result, revenue collections of the local civic bodies jumped. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation reported collecting about 1.6 billion (US$22 million) in cash payments of outstanding and advance taxes within 4 days. [63]

  • Axis Bank

Income Tax officials raided multiple branches of Axis Bank and found bank officials involved in acts of money laundering. [64] [65] [66]

Business and corruption[ edit ]

Public servants have very wide discretionary powers offering the opportunity to extort undue payments from companies and ordinary citizens. The awarding of public contracts is notoriously corrupt, especially at the state level. Scandals involving high-level politicians have highlighted the payment of kickbacks in the healthcare, IT and military sectors. The deterioration of the overall efficiency of the government, protection of property rights, ethics and corruption as well as undue influence on government and judicial decisions has resulted in a more difficult business environment.[ citation needed ]

Judiciary[ edit ]

According to Transparency International [ unreliable source? ], Judicial corruption in India is attributable to factors such as “delays in the disposal of cases, shortage of judges and complex procedures, all of which are exacerbated by a preponderance of new laws”. [67] Over the years there have been numerous allegations against judges, and in 2011 Soumitra Sen , a former judge at the Kolkata High Court became the first judge in India to be impeached by the Rajya Sabha , (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) for misappropriation of funds. [68]

Anti-corruption efforts[ edit ]

Right to Information Act[ edit ]

Main article: Right to Information Act

The 2005 Right to Information Act required government officials to provide information requested by citizens or face punitive action, as well as the computerisation of services and the establishment of vigilance commissions. This considerably reduced corruption and opened up avenues to redress grievances. [3]

Right to public services legislation[ edit ]

Main article: Right to Public Services legislation

Right to Public Services legislation, which has been enacted in 19 states of India, guarantee time bound delivery of services for various public services rendered by the government to citizen and provides mechanisms for punishing the errant public servant who is deficient in providing the service stipulated under the statute. [69] Right to Service legislation is meant to reduce corruption among the government officials and to increase transparency and public accountability. [70]

Anti-corruption laws in India[ edit ]

Public servants in India can be imprisoned for several years and penalised for corruption under the:

  • Indian Penal Code, 1860
  • Prosecution section of Income Tax Act, 1961
  • The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
  • The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 to prohibit benami transactions.
  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002

Punishment for bribery in India can range from six months to seven years.

India is also a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption since 2005 (ratified 2011). The Convention covers a wide range of acts of corruption and also proposes certain preventive policies. [71]

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 which came into force from 16 January 2014, seeks to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries in India. [72] [73]

Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2011 , which provides a mechanism to investigate alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants and also protect anyone who exposes alleged wrongdoing in government bodies, projects and offices, has received the assent of the President of India on 9 May 2014, and (as of 2 August) is pending for notification by the Central Government. [74] [75]

At present there are no legal provisions to check graft in the private sector in India. Government has proposed amendments in existing acts and certain new bills for checking corruption in private sector. Big-ticket corruption is mainly witnessed in the operations of large commercial or corporate entities. In order to prevent bribery on supply side, it is proposed that key managerial personnel of companies’ and also the company shall be held liable for offering bribes to gain undue benefits.[ citation needed ]

The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 provides that the properties of corrupt public servants shall be confiscated. However, the Government is considering incorporating provisions for confiscation or forfeiture of the property of corrupt public servants into the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 to make it more self-contained and comprehensive. [40]

A committee headed by the Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), has been constituted to examine ways to strengthen laws to curb generation of black money in India, its illegal transfer abroad, and its recovery. “The Committee shall examine the existing legal and administrative framework to deal with the menace of generation of black money through illegal means including inter-alia the following: 1. Declaring wealth generated illegally as national asset; 2. Enacting/amending laws to confiscate and recover such assets; and 3. Providing for exemplary punishment against its perpetrators.” (Source: 2013 EY report on Bribery & Corruption )

The Companies Act, 2013 , contains certain provisions to regulate frauds by corporations including increased penalties for frauds, giving more powers to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office, mandatory responsibility of auditors to reveal frauds, and increased responsibilities of independent directors. [76] The Companies Act, 2013 also provides for mandatory vigil mechanisms which allow directors and employees to report concerns and whistleblower protection mechanism for every listed company and any other companies which accepts deposits from public or has taken loans more than 50 crore rupees from banks and financial institutions. This intended to avoid accounting scandals such as the Satyam scandal which have plagued India. [77] It replaces The Companies Act, 1956 which was proven outmoded in terms of handling 21st century problems. [78]

In 2015, Parliament passed the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Bill, 2015 to curb and impose penalties on black money hoarded abroad. The Act has received the assent of the President of India on 26 May 2015. It came into effect from 1 July 2015.

Anti-corruption police and courts[ edit ]

The Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation , Central Vigilance Commission and Central Bureau of Investigation all deal with anti-corruption initiatives. Certain states such as Andhra Pradesh ( Anti-Corruption Bureau, Andhra Pradesh ) and Karnataka ( Lokayukta ) also have their own anti-corruption agencies and courts. [79] [80]

Andhra Pradesh’s Anti Corruption Bureau ( ACB ) has launched a large scale investigation in the “cash-for-bail” scam. [81]
CBI court judge Talluri Pattabhirama Rao was arrested on 19 June 2012 for taking a bribe to grant bail to former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, who was allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. Investigation revealed that India Cements (one of India’s largest cement companies) had been investing in Reddy’s businesses in return for government contracts. [82]
A case has also been opened against seven other individuals under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act. [81]

Civic anti-corruption organisations[ edit ]

A variety of organisations have been created in India to actively fight against corrupt government and business practices. Notable organisations include:

  • [Bharat Swabhiman Trust], established by Ramdev , has campaigned against black money and corruption for a decade.[ when? ]
  • 5th Pillar is most known for the creation of the zero rupee note , a valueless note designed to be given to corrupt officials when they request bribes.[ citation needed ]
  • India Against Corruption was a popular movement active during 2011–12 that received much media attention. Among its prominent public faces were Arvind Kejriwal , Kiran Bedi and Anna Hazare . Kejriwal went on to form the Aam Aadmi Party and Hazare established Jan Tantra Morcha . [83]
  • Jaago Re! One Billion Votes was an organisation founded by Tata Tea and Janaagraha to increase youth voter registration. [84] They have since expanded their work to include other social issues, including corruption. [85]
  • Association for Social Transparency, Rights and Action (ASTRA) is an NGO focused on grass-roots work to fight corruption in Karnataka.
  • The Lok Satta Movement , has transformed itself from a civil organisation to a full-fledged political party, the Lok Satta Party . The party has fielded candidates in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Bangalore. In 2009, it obtained its first elected post, when Jayaprakash Narayan won the election for the Kukatpally Assembly Constituency in Andhra Pradesh.

Electoral Reforms[ edit ]

See also: Electoral reform in India

A number of ideas have been in discussion to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of electoral processes in India.

Factors contributing to corruption in India[ edit ]

In a 2004 report on Corruption in India, [11] one of the world’s largest audit and compliance firms KPMG notes several issues that encourage corruption in India. The report suggests high taxes and excessive regulation bureaucracy as a major cause; India has high marginal tax rates and numerous regulatory bodies with the power to stop any citizen or business from going about their daily affairs. [11] [86]

This power of Indian authorities to search and question individuals creates opportunities for corrupt public officials to extract bribes—each individual or business decides if the effort required for due process and the cost of delay is worth paying the bribe demanded. In cases of high taxes, paying off the corrupt official is cheaper than the tax. This, according to the report, is one major cause of corruption in India and 150 other countries across the world. In the real estate industry, the high capital gains tax in India encourages large-scale corruption. The KPMG report claims that the correlation between high real estate taxes and corruption is high in India as it is other countries including the developed economies; this correlation has been true in modern times as well as throughout centuries of human history in various cultures. [11] [86]

The desire to pay lower taxes than those demanded by the state explains the demand side of corruption. The net result is that the corrupt officials collect bribes, the government fails to collect taxes for its own budget, and corruption grows. The report suggests regulatory reforms, process simplification and lower taxes as means to increase tax receipts and reduce causes of corruption. [11] [86]

In addition to tax rates and regulatory burdens, the KPMG report claims corruption results from opaque process and paperwork on the part of the government. Lack of transparency allows room for manoeuvre for both demanders and suppliers of corruption. Whenever objective standards and transparent processes are missing, and subjective opinion driven regulators and opaque/hidden processes are present, conditions are ripe for corruption. [11] [87]

Vito Tanzi in an International Monetary Fund study suggests that in India, like other countries in the world, corruption is caused by excessive regulations and authorisation requirements, complicated taxes and licensing systems, mandated spending programmes, lack of competitive free markets, monopoly of certain goods and service providers by government controlled institutions, bureaucracy, lack of penalties for corruption of public officials, and lack of transparent laws and processes. [12] [88] A Harvard University study finds these to be some of the causes of corruption and underground economy in India. [89]

Impact of corruption[ edit ]

Loss of credibility[ edit ]

In a study on Bribery and Corruption in India conducted in 2013 [40] by global professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY), a majority of the survey respondents from PE firms said that a company operating in a sector which is perceived as highly corrupt may lose ground when it comes to fair valuation of its business, as investors bargain hard and factor in the cost of corruption at the time of transaction.

According to a report by KPMG , “high-level corruption and scams are now threatening to derail the country’s its credibility and [its] economic boom”. [90]

Economic loss[ edit ]

Corruption may lead to further bureaucratic delay and inefficiency if corrupted bureaucrats introduce red tape in order to extort more bribes. [91] Such inadequacies in institutional efficiency could affect growth indirectly by lowering the private marginal product of capital and investment rate. [92] Levine and Renelt showed that investment rate is a robust determinant of economic growth. [93]

Bureaucratic inefficiency also affects growth directly through misallocation of investments in the economy. [94] Additionally, corruption results in lower economic growth for a given level of income. [92]

Lower corruption, higher growth rates[ edit ]

If corruption levels in India were reduced to levels in developed economies such as Singapore or the United Kingdom, India’s GDP growth rate could increase at a higher rate annually. C. K. Prahalad estimates the lost opportunity caused by corruption in terms of investment, growth and jobs for India is over US$50 billion a year. [1]

See also[ edit ]

  • flag India portal
  • icon Politics portal
  • List of scandals in India
  • Licence Raj
  • Mafia Raj
  • Uprising 2011, Indians Against Corruption


  • 2012 Indian anti-corruption movement
  • 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement
  • Jan Lokpal Bill
  • Right to Public Services legislation
  • Lok Ayukta


  • Corruption Perceptions Index
  • Rent seeking
  • Socio-economic issues in India

References[ edit ]

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Further reading[ edit ]

  • Khatri, Naresh. 2013. Anatomy of Indian Brand of Crony Capitalism. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2335201
  • Kohli, Suresh (1975). Corruption in India: The Growing Evil. India: Chetana Pvt.Ltd. ISBN   978-0-86186-580-2 .
  • Dwivedy, Surendranath; Bhargava, G. S. (1967). “Political Corruption in India”.
  • Gupta, K. N. (2001). Corruption in India. Anmol Publications Pvt Ltd. ISBN   978-81-261-0973-9 ..
  • Halayya, M. (1985). “Corruption in India”. Affiliated East-West Press.
  • Guhan, Sanjivi; Paul, Samuel (1997). “Corruption in India: Agenda for Action”. Vision Books.
  • Vittal, N. (2003). Corruption in India: The Roadblock to National Prosperity . Academic Foundation. ISBN   978-81-7188-287-8 .
  • Somiah, C.G. (2010). The honest always stand alone. New Delhi: Niyogi Books. ISBN   978-81-89738-71-6 .
  • Kaur, Ravinder. “India Inc. and its Moral Discontents” . Economic and Political Weekly.
  • Sharma, Vivek Swaroop. “Give Corruption a Chance” in The National Interest 128, November/December 2013: 38–45. Full text available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279587155_Give_Corruption_a_Chance .
  • Arun Shourie (1992). These lethal, inexorable laws: Rajiv, his men and his regime. Delhi: South Asia Books. ISBN   978-0836427554

External links[ edit ]

  • CIC – The Central Information Commission is charged with interpreting the Right to Information Act, 2005.
  • DoPT – The Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, is charged with being the nodal agency for the Right to Information Act, 2005. It has the powers to make rules regarding appeals, fees, etc.
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      380 Words Essay on Corruption in India (free to read)

      Article shared by

      Corruption is not a new phenomenon in India. It has been prevalent in society since ancient times. History reveals that it was present even in the Mauryan period. Great scholar Kautilya mentions the pressure of forty types of corruption in his contemporary society. It was practised even in Mughal and Sultanate period. When the East India Company took control of the country, corruption reached new height. Corruption in India has become so common that people now are averse to thinking of public life with it.

      Corruption has been defined variously by scholars. But the simple meaning of it is that corruption implies perversion of morality, integrity, character or duty out of mercenary motives, i.e. bribery, without any regard to honour, right and justice. In other words, undue favour for any one for some monetary or other gains is corruption. Simultaneously, depriving the genuinely deserving from their right or privilege is also a corrupt practice. Shrinking from one’s duty or dereliction of duty are also forms of corruption. Besides, thefts, wastage of public property constitute varieties of corruption. Dishonesty, exploitation, malpractices, scams and scandals are various manifestations of corruption.

      Corruption is not a uniquely Indian phenomenon. It is witnessed all over the world in developing as well as developed countries. It has spread its tentacles in every sphere of life, namely business administration, politics, officialdom, and services. In fact, there is hardly any sector which can be characterised for not being infected with the vices of corruption. Corruption is rampant in every segment and every section of society, barring the social status attached to it. Nobody can be considered free from corruption from a high ranking officer.


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      To root out the evil of corruption from society, we need to make a comprehensive code of conduct for politicians, legislatures, bureaucrats, and such code should be strictly enforced. Judiciary should be given more independence and initiatives on issues related to corruption. Special courts should be set-up to take up such issues and speedy trial is to be promoted. Law and order machinery should be allowed to work without political interference. NGOs and media should come forward to create awareness against corruption in society and educate people to combat this evil. Only then we would be able to save our system from being collapsed.

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